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STREET LOVE by Walter Dean Myers Kirkus Star


by Walter Dean Myers

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-028079-4
Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Adult and young-adult aficionados of Myers’s work will find this new offering revisits issues close to the author’s heart: place (Harlem with all its love and squalor), race and the court system (you’ve got trouble if you’re black and poor and in front of a judge), values for boys of color (street crime or achievement) and love of the community. This verse novel, in which entire poems dazzle readers with rhyme and rhythm and voice, finds Damien, a straight-A student, headed for Brown University. But he falls in love with Junice, a girl whose mother has just been incarcerated for selling drugs, and his direction could change. Readers enjoy multiple perspectives on this romance and the decision Damien makes. A cliffhanger conclusion might give some diehard fans the need to reflect and accept the unexpected. This quasi-Romeo and Juliet will easily find its place alongside Sharon Mills Draper’s Romiette and Julio (1999), Myers’s short story, “Kitty and Mack: a Love Story,” West Side Story and of course, the Shakespearean play itself. (Fiction. YA)